Special Exhibition – Thursday 20th October 2011

This week we wanted to highlight a great exhibition which will be taking place in October in Hong Kong. Details are below and it is for a great cause.

The Nesbitt Centre is proud to announce their first major exhibition of students’ work at the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex from 20 October 2011. The opening night will be hosted by Sharon Kwok and there will be an auction of the artwork supported by Christie’s Jonathan Stone. The money raised will be used to continue such innovative projects and will benefit other notable charities.

Led by internationally celebrated artist Lorette E. Roberts, the “Our Sai Ying Pun project” is an inspirational and profound look at a local Hong Kong community by local people, over the past year. Funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the project is a collaboration of Roberts and the Nesbitt Centre students, staff and volunteers.

The artwork explores the changes that Sai Ying Pun has gone through in recent years and the community that makes it an intrinsic part of Hong Kong. These impressions were captured and translated into a visual context creating a mixed media installation using paintings, collages, photographs, textile, etc.

The exhibition is a new milestone in the history of The Nesbitt Centre. As a centre for adults with learning disabilities it is proud to showcase the many talents of their students. Since 1993, the Nesbitt Centre provides English- speaking educational programmes for adults with learning disabilities – and a respite and residential facility, which helps to achieve independence and development of their own potential and opportunities within the community.

Spaces are limited for the opening night, RSVP is recommended to avoid disappointment. (contact details in the attached flyer picture)

  • Opening Night: 20 October 2011, 7.00pm, with Sharon Kwok
  • Christie’s Auction: 20 October 2011, 8.30pm, with Jonathan Stone (Chairman and International Head of Asian Art)
  • Exhibition runs: 21 October 2011 – 20 November 201
  • What: Our Sai Ying Pun exhibition
  • Where: Lobby of the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex, 3rd floor, 2 High Street, Sai Ying Pun.

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Opinion Poll: September 2011 (Poll Now Closed)

**UPDATE 30th September 2011 – this poll is now closed. Thank you to all who voted. We’ll be looking at the results in detail in our September Monthly Update to be posted on Monday 3rd October. We will publish another poll for you all to vote on next month**

This month we want to find out how much travel our blog visitors undertake for business purposes each month. Do you travel to your construction site every week? Are you meeting clients every month? We want to find out.

As always, please let us know where you are when casting your votes. This information is taken anonymously.

Make sure to register your vote quickly as we are getting more responses each month – as always we’ll hold things open until we have received the first 100 votes and comment on the results in our Monthly Update at the end of September.

Chinese City Fact: Anshan

Anshan is a city of more than 3.6 million people in northern China. Unusually Anshan is also known for holding one third of the world’s supply of talcum, commonly converted into talcum powder and found in bathrooms across the globe.

Following the 1940’s Anshan became an important centre for the manufacture of steel. Unfortunately the steel works were open-hearth furnaces producing lots of dust and pollution. Innovations in the 1990’s has reduced pollution levels and Anshan is now regarded as a much cleaner city.

In a 2010 government White Paper, Anshan was identified as one of the top 20 emerging cities in China alongside the likes of Chongqing, Shenyang and Hefei. In recent years Anshan has tried to transform itself into a tourist destination with a number of parks designated as important areas.

For more information on Anshan please visit: www.wikitravel.org/en/Anshan

Employment Visas in Hong Kong

We often get asked about the process required to obtain an Employment Visa in Hong Kong. We are not experts on immigration by any means but have been through the process ourselves a couple of times and have also seen many others go through it. This article is therefore designed to act as a guide, based on our experiences and those of other people.

Disclaimer: This guide is not designed as a definitive guide to getting everything visa related but to give an overview of what the author has experienced personally and with candidates. If you are looking for more detailed information we recommend you speak to a specialist visa company in Hong Kong for more information.

The first thing to note is that most companies will organise the employment visa for you. Most will have had prior experience submitting applications and going through the approval process and should be able to talk you through what you need to provide. On some rare occasions companies will be submitting an application for the first time and will need to provide some extra information for immigration purposes but that is usually information they need to provide, not you.

There are a couple of key things to remember with regards to getting an Employment Visa. The first is that you are NOT allowed to start work for a company until you have your employment visa approved and the relevant documents stamped on entry to Hong Kong. Most people submit the application from overseas and then enter Hong Kong with their visa to be stamped at immigration. Sometimes people are already in Hong Kong but a new Employment Visa will require that person to leave the region and have their visa stamped on re-entry. This is generally frowned upon and not recommended. Do not be fooled by your prospective company into thinking that it is ok for you to start work whilst the approval process is under way. IT IS NOT and the company and you can be punished very severely for not adhering to the rules!

Whilst most companies organise and pay for the Employment Visa it’s worth noting a few items that you will need to get together which you may not have ready access to. We often recommend that people start getting this information together early on in the job search process so that once they find work, the visa can be submitted quickly and efficiently. Basically the immigration department wants to ensure that what is on your CV is correct. They will therefore ask for evidence of your qualifications and job history. They will certainly need to see your degree certificate/s and diplomas and have been known to ask for proof of older qualifications too. So go dig out those certificates or re-order them from university or your school/s in readiness. In order to prove your job history the immigration department will also be looking to obtain written references from your previous employers. These don’t have to be references singing your praises but must include the dates of employment that match those on your CV.

You will also need to have a few passport sized photos, a copy of your CV and a copy of your letter of offer or ideally your contract of employment from your future employer. There is a form to complete (please visit http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/home.htm for further information) – sometimes the employer will complete this, sometimes you will have to.

From the employer side they have to in essence prove that there isn’t a Hong Kong resident locally who can fill your position. Typically a company will have to provide proof of this in the form of a rejected candidate list (with CV’s) and a letter outlining the reasons they wish to employ you over a local candidate. The employer will also have to submit business documents, certificates, licences etc and sometimes has to provide a business plan or financial information. If your company or you are unsure on any of this we would advise you both seek professional advice from a specialist employment visa lawyer who can talk you through the procedures.

And that’s about it. It’s a relatively simple process but it can take some time to gather the documentation together. On submission of your application it will take a minimum of 4 weeks to get an initial response. Sometimes there will be a request for further information to be submitted. Generally the whole process takes about 4-8 weeks in most cases. On successful approval the immigration department will send a letter to the employer who will then collect your Employment Visa on your behalf (you may have to sign a letter to say you are happy for them to do so) – this is a sticker that they will send to you and that you put into your passport. On arrival in Hong Kong at immigration you show the sticker, it’s stamped and you can come in to Hong Kong on your new Employment Visa!

It’s then just a case of applying for a Hong Kong ID card within your first few weeks to finish the process.

Monthly Update: August 2011

Market News

News from Macau was extremely positive. Gambling revenue exceeded US$3 billion in July for only the second time on record with August expected to be even better. Galaxy’s new mega resort has had huge success taking HK$50 billion in 47 days from high stake gamblers, a phenomenal amount.

'DSC07312' photo (c) 2010, Adam - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

An interesting trend appeared in the press in August when firstly a number of fake Apple Stores were discovered in Kunming, China. Since they were discovered, more have been found across the region and now other brands seem to have been replicated. Fake Ikeas (some say they are better than the real thing) have also appeared. Have you seen any other copy stores in China?

Hong Kong developers are expected to take advantage of the strong financial positions by snapping up land in mainland China. With the recent property curbs in China affecting some of the Chinese developers, many think now is the perfect time for the cash rich Hong Kong developers to take advantage. Many Hong Kong developers are extremely bullish about prospects in China and are looking to increase their land banks significantly.

'Constructing away my view' photo (c) 2009, Tyler - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Speaking of property curbs, the prices of flats in China’s 3 main cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, were flat for the first time in 3 years. This is a sure sign of the measures introduced by the governments beginning to have an effect on property prices. Prices in other cities continue to grow but at a slower pace. Can China avoid the bubble scenario that so many analysts feared?

In Hong Kong retail rentals are expected to grow by up to 50% in the next 3 years. This after Abercrombie & Fitch were announced to be paying around HK$7 million per MONTH in rent for their new store on Pedder Street. Demand for retail, both luxury and mid range brands, is expected to remain strong and keep prices high. Many long term tenants are having to find new spaces due to rents sometimes being more than doubled when they come to renew leases.

Poll Result

This month we wanted to assess the sentiment given the changeable market conditions globally. At the end of August, things seem to have settled somewhat but we asked whether the recent turmoils would have any effect on the Asia markets in Property and Construction. Results below:

It would seem that people are cautiously optimistic with the vast majority (65%) feeling that things may slow in Asia but long term the prospects are good. Perhaps most surprising was the increase in people that feel that there could well be a slowdown in things which will be difficult to recover from. 1/5 of you think a slowdown is inevitable and that a subsequent pick up will be slow in happening. Only 14% of you felt things were going to continue positively with no slow down. When compared to the results of our similar March poll it is clear that many more of you are cautious in your optimism – 10% thought that danger could be lurking so to find that 20% of you are now concerned is quite surprising. We’ll continue to see how sentiment changes as the months go by. As always, most of our respondents are from Asia or overseas but working in the region.

Thank you again for voting and check back later this month for another poll.

What’s Hot

Architectural vacancies have soared in August. We currently have requirements for candidates at Project Architect and above in all major locations: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Singapore. As always, the requirement for candidates to be strong Mandarin speakers and/or have experience in China remains although exceptional overseas talent MAY be considered if they have the right profiles. However, if you are not in Asia and able to meet people face-to-face, it will probably be near impossible to secure something. We have also had a number of roles come in for experienced Urban Planners and Designers, particularly for Shanghai and Shenzhen. We are urgently looking for a Urban Planning/Design Director to lead a team in Shanghai so get in touch with any recommendations. Interior designers are required in Shanghai and Beijing particularly. Most in demand are those with retail and commercial experience.

On the Engineering side we have two very key senior positions available for candidates to head up M&E divisions within 2 of the regions leading companies. These are key leadership roles and will suit people who want to grow and develop a team and business for an international business.

Our roles within developers continue to be for Project Managers and Senior Project Managers. Architecturally trained staff are in high demand as always as are those with E&M backgrounds. We have had some real success in the last month or two placing a lot of people within some of the best international developers out there so if you are interested in a challenging position in China, can speak Mandarin and have experience working on high end projects, please get in touch. We can introduce you to the key decision makers within these prestigious firms.

Most Urgent Requirements

We have outlined below the urgent vacancies we have had through from clients over the last month.

  • Senior Project Managers – Hong Kong and China – multiple needs from Top Tier Developers
  • Senior Project Manager – Hotels – Hong Kong -a great little Boutique Hospitality Practice
  • Senior Design Manager – Hong Kong – top developer
  • Interior Designers – Retail – Shanghai – international design practice
  • Senior Urban Designer – Beijing – leading design firm
  • Project Director – China – 2 or 3 positions for a Top Developer to be based on landmark schemes in China
  • Urban Planners – Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen – multiple roles within a growing award winning design firm. Bilingual candidates only
  • Urban Designers – Hong Kong and China – award winning international practice
  • Senior Architectural Designer – Hong Kong – to lead a design team for a top international design practice

We also have many, many more roles posted on our website and these are only an overview of our top positions at this time. Please check back regularly. The easiest way to stay up to date with our latest positions is to follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our website for more information on the above roles and our other vacancies:

http://www.ellicottlong.com/current-jobs.

If you wish to enquire about a position please send an email and your CV to apply@ellicottlong.com.

Follow us on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/ellicottlong. Please also subscribe to our blog by filling in the email subscription form on the right to stay up to date with our latest posts, updates and information.